By on July 28, 2014

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For the first and possibly last time ever, the Mitsubishi Delica was a front page story in a national newspaper, with The Globe and Mail reporting on the “backlash” resulting from these “quirky” cars.

The Globe, which is widely regarded as Canada’s paper of record, chose to put the venerable van on page A1, ahead of stories about Syria, ISIS, Boko Haram, Libya and the lack of new manual station wagons.

According to the paper, the Mitsubishi Delica is raising ire, to the point where

“…various provinces and organizations across the country mobilizing to prevent even more of the vehicles from washing up on Canada’s shores…Concerned by the rising number of right-wheel-drive imports, ICBC analyzed crashes involving vehicles like the Delica. In 2009, the agency published its alarming findings: Right-wheel drive vehicles were 40 per cent more likely to be in a crash, and 56 per cent more likely to cause one, than left-wheel-drive vehicles. The driver’s position is believed to make everyday manoeuvres – such as pulling away from a curb or making a left-hand turn – much more dangerous.”

Granted, there are legitimate safety concerns regarding right-hand drive vehicles. For one, the positioning of the headlights must be modified. If they aren’t, then they tend to be angled right into oncoming traffic, which presents an obvious safety hazard.

But there’s also the unspoken fact that many right-hand drive vehicles are performance models like the Nissan Skyline GT-R and Toyota Celica GT-Four. They tend to be purchased by young, testosterone-addled males who are likely to drive them at dangerous speeds on public roads. This is likely to contribute to the alarming crash rates, and a reason why Quebec and Prince Edward Island moved to ban right-hand drive cars earlier in the decade.

There is also pressure from dealer groups and other parties who stand to lose out economically. Although BC’s government-regulated insurer has asked for changes in the rules, they don’t appear to be coming any time soon

Mark Francis, an ICBC manager of provincial vehicle registration who is on a national working group on the issue, says they asked Transport Canada to increase the number of years before a vehicle can be imported from 15 to 25. That number – which would be in line with the United States – would effectively kill the importation of modern Delicas by making it no longer economic for Japanese exporters to warehouse them.

“We’re taking their junk, as we view it,” Mr. Francis says. He adds, however, that the lack of any high-profile crashes involving these vehicles means there’s little incentive to act. “We’re not expecting them to do anything in the near future.”

Surely, the government has a whole host of priorities that are far higher than restricting what a niche group of enthusiasts can import into the country, right?

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67 Comments on “Mitsubishi Vans Are A Delica-te Matter In Canada...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “This is likely to contribute to the alarming crash rates, and a reason why Quebec and Prince Edward Island moved to ban right-hand drive cars earlier in the decade.”

    The insurance statistics back up the issues with RHD vehicles as a whole, not just Skylines. I went looking for coverage on a 1988 4WD Corolla _wagon_ and was quoted, without collision or comprehensive coverage, rates that exceeded what you’d pay on an E46 M3.

    Many won’t touch an RHD with a ten-foot pole.

    You really are blind in a left-turn in an RHD car. That’s a serious issue, since many two-car accidents are at intersections.

    “Surely, the government has a whole host of priorities that are far higher than restricting what a niche group of enthusiasts can import into the country, right?”

    Government is not a zero-sum game. A minor bureaucrat in the BC MTO can craft this piece of legislation without affecting other ministries one whit.

    All that said, I don’t really see the appeal of the Delica versus, say, an LHD Toyota Van or Previa. You can at least get parts and insurance for the latter two, and still have all your JDM credz while being able to make left turns without getting T-boned by the taxi cab you couldn’t see around the Tahoe making a left.

    • 0 avatar

      And most of the initial crop of RHD cars were Skylines and the like, bought by young men because they were cheap and fast. That is going to skew things.

    • 0 avatar
      Feds

      When government regulations forced snowmobile companies to move to 4-stroke, you couldn’t get insurance on a 1,000cc sled. Not because it made more power, or was faster, only because there was no data, therefore you are automatically sent to the highest risk category.

      My question is this: Why are old RHD’s from japan WAY TOO DANGEROUS according to the provincial governments, but the federal government is more than happy to put post office workers in old RHD LLV’s that have all of the problems associated with JDM imports combined with worse sight lines?

      If ICBC were serious about debating the RHD issue, they would request and publish data from Canada Post on accident rates for RHD vs. LHD vehicles as that data would control for vehicle type and driver training.

      As for parts: 90% of anything you would need is available cheaply and quickly on Rock Auto or Ebay (these are kissing cousins of the Montero). Anything else is at a dealer in either Vancouver or Toronto.

      Comparing it to a Toyota Van or Previa is ludicrous. A Delica has an longitudinal engine, and a low range gear box. A Previa won’t come close off road.

    • 0 avatar
      raincoaster

      When i’m making a left turn driving our Delica and there is oncoming traffic also turning left I will often do the safe thing and just wait until I can see where I’m going.

      Also to note, the driving position in a 96 L400 has you sitting roughly as high as in a stock F350 so you can usually see overtop of anyone in your way. The other day I was able to look at traffic over the top of a new Dodge Grand Caravan in the lane next to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I don’t know how many times my left turn has effectively been rendered blind by a box truck or something in the opposite left turn lane. No one’s calling for those to be banned.

      Likewise, I’ve been to a motorcycle safety course where we were encouraged to make left turns from the right tire track (the blocker position), figuring it’s better we stay more visible to cars who might try and dart in rather than get through a corner quicker. No one’s calling for those to be banned either (at least not on the front page of the Globe).

  • avatar
    strafer

    “which PREVENTS an obvious safety hazard”
    i know this is just a blog but still, prevents means the opposite of presents.

  • avatar
    Feds

    Grrrr. This study is worse than unintended acceleration and side saddle gas tanks put together.

    If you actually go and read the ICBC study, it uses a very limited data set, and even mentions that it doesn’t internally correct for the age of the driver or the type of vehicle.

    Early RHD imports (the ones available to study in 2009) were primarily 90’s sports cars, which were available for ~1/3rd the cost of an NADM version. This means that the typical driver of a RHD at the time was younger than the LHD equivalent (because they could afford their dream car on their part-time-job salary). What I’m getting at is this: The ICBC study only tells us that young men in Supras are 40% more likely to crash than the general population.

    The study also tells us that injury rates in RHD vehicles are significantly less than in LHD. Net-net, RHD vehicles cause no more or less injuries than LHD vehicles, even before correcting for driver and vehicle type.

    I’ve put 80,000kms on my Delica since February ’10. Including a round trip to Florida (24-hr straight drives both ways), 5,000 kms towing a pop-up trailer, and 5 laps of Toronto Motorsports Park hauling Jack Baruth, Colin Jevins and a camera crew. I have been in 1 accident: I was rear ended fully 5 seconds after coming to a complete stop by a woman who admitted she had been texting.

    This ICBC study needs to die and be buried. It’s bad science likely driven by Canadian Auto Dealer Association lobbyists worried about lost sales.

    • 0 avatar
      LuciferV8

      The plot thickens:

      http://drivesmartbc.ca/miscellaneous/right-hand-drive-vehicles-left-hand-drive-world

      Checking out the comments on the linked post, there were a number of folks pointing out serious flaws in the 2007 Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) “RHD 40% higher accident rate” study.

      This comment, by “RHDriver” was particularly enlightening (hold on, it’s a huge one, and it takes up the entirety of the rest of my post):

      “the ICBC 40% study…. lol …. is a joke to say the least… where do i begin

      did you know that the study performed by ICBC was done because Transport Canada wouldnt do such a study? and the reasoning behind them not doing was due to a lack of information regarding the history of RHD vehicles

      Did you know that the ICBC study used the same vehicle more than once? it also had vehicles which were not yet 15yrs old?(the vehicles which are not 15yrs or older are not allowed in our country, and that falls under the jurisdiction of Canada Customs, not ICBC or TC)

      did you know that ICBC does not tell the difference between an collision and an claim in the study and that both are looped together?

      did you know that some vehicles where used in more than one category, such as station wagons and mini vns being used in the SUV category, then being used in the Van/Truck category for the same claim

      heres a prime example of why this study isnt accurate

      i know of a vehicle in the study (confirmed the id of the vheicle by its VIN number) which was used 3 times, the owner was never in an accident, his claims were a chipped windsheild, a shopping cart hitting his car in a parking lot( the person left her info as she felt bad) and someone opend there door into his car(he left his info too)

      after applying under the FOIP(freedom of information program) to get all the data surrounding the study we( http://www.ivoac.ca “imported owners association of Canada”) found many errors… after reworking the numbers we found that you are only 10-15% more likely to be involved in an claim, not a collision or accident than driving an LHD vehicle.

      Also one reason why RHD vehicles have a higher than LHD vheicls of the same age claim rate is due to there collectabilty and high quality…

      The best part of the study though, is how the man who was heading the study now wants nothing to do with it, he no longer backs it up…

      im sure there is more that im missing but im also sure that someone else will fill in some of the missing parts about the Defunct ICBC report

      ok now i get to the part that i know ALOT about…

      Please Drive BC show us these studies that find icbc’s study to have the same results from the UK…

      i spent 2-3 weeks searching the internet, calling the UK(my phone bill was big that month) Calling japan etc etc and in all of my searching i found ONE study that made a difference between RHD and LHD vehicles… That study was from Englands military as they have a number of LHD vehicles that they use(keep in mind that they drive RHD all the time on the opposite side of the traffic we drive so a LHD vehicle is the opposite for them). In this study/ report it was noted that LHD vehicles had a SMALLER % accident rate than compared to there usual RHD vehicles.

      Another study which was in regards to a country changing from RHT(Right hand traffic) to LHT noted that there was a drastic increase in accidents for the first 2 yrs as people adjusted to the new traffic flow… but it did not have any mention about which side of the vehicle the driver was driving on…

      Then there are nations like Japan which have many RHD and LHD vehicles operating astride one another that use the same auto insurance rates and same traffic laws, they even have dual sided toll booths and drive-thru’s to accommodate LHD vehicles…

      The UK which has many mixed vehicles does not have special laws for the vehicles that are not RHD or LHD…

      So all these nations across the world that have mixed vehicles dont see this risk as being large enough to Ban them or make special laws for them. they must be doing something right then…

      and finally the claim of 200 vehicles being imported per month making our roads less safe…. ok heres the kicker of that statement…

      of these 200vehicles, there is no information that customs keeps that says if its RHD or LHD…. the 200# also includes ATV’s, motorcycles, snomobiles, off-road only, and parts only vehicles…

      Also these vehicles which are destined for our roads must still be inspected and approved, which means they must have D.O.T. lighting(DOT isnt that American Gov’t), AS1 or AS2 approved windsheild, a 3RD high mount brake light, a neutral safety switch(only if it came with one when it was new) and Tires that have load rates on them…

      In closing i think the laws should be changed, to allow NEWER than 15yr old vehicles to enter our country as NEWER vehicles are much safer than older vehicles, But i am strongly against banning these vehicles or making it so even older vehicles are only allowed in…

      as a final thought id like you to really think about this statement

      Guns dont kill people, people kill people…

      Vehicles dont crash, Bad drivers do… If you put a RHD vehicle beside a dodge Viper, beside a semi-truck beside a motorcycle and i ask you to identify the most dangerous vehicle. The only correct answer you can give is ” the one with the person driving it ”

      I hope this opens peoples eyes and gets them to really think rather than make a close minded choice based on partial information and perceived risk…”

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Good post. If only all auto enthusiasts were that dedicated.

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        While I admire your reserach, there likely aren’t many studies because the largest jursidictions do not allow such large number of RHD vehicles to be imported into a RHD market (or vice versa).

        Quite frankly I’m surprised Mitsu doesn’t create a LHD version of teh Delica, given that all their North American models are low volume anyway, and this would give them something unique to sell.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Another study which was in regards to a country changing from RHT(Right hand traffic) to LHT noted that there was a drastic increase in accidents for the first 2 yrs as people adjusted to the new traffic flow… but it did not have any mention about which side of the vehicle the driver was driving on”

        Er, you might want to actually learn about this. Not many countries have switched, and few of them have been recent.

        Sweden switched in the 60s, but many of the cars already were LHD because the local auto industry was oriented toward exports.

        It sounds as if you skimmed some RHD fanboy blog and decided to repeat what you read because it said what you wanted to hear.

  • avatar
    Steinweg

    Derek is right: The stats are skewed by the preponderance of juvies hooning their JDM Integras and Skylines within the otherwise small pool of RHD cars.

    I’ve driven a RHD LS 400 (the mighty Celsior) and experienced no prejudice in terms of rounding corners. I take right and left corners about evenly. Basically I reject the notion that there’s any practical explanation for RHD being compromised in terms of navigating our RH roads.

    But, also, the Delica? It’s not setting my pants on fire, that’s for sure. Definitely won’t put up a fight on its particular behalf.

    In closing, the Globe and Mail would probably refer to the Honda Accord coupe as quirky. The G&M is about as strait-laced as they come. Kudos to them for being only 5 years behind the trend, though. They are almost approaching journalism.

  • avatar
    calgarytek

    I worship Nissan Skylines, Toyota Chasers, Toyota Trueno’s, Civic Type R’s. Delicas are awesome too.

    The crash story is BS. This is a ploy from the North American manufactures to sell the GOD AWFUL garbage they call cars.

    Save for the new Corvette. And maybe the Challenger Hellcat.

    They couldn’t compete with the Japanese no matter how many new GM’s, New Chryslers, new whatever companies.

    I got to get it on it before they’re banned. Oh god please no :\'(

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Every time I go to EC Manning Provincial Park there is at least one of these vans at the Manning Park Lodge – I’ve seen up to three.

    They’re certainly better looking to me than any US market minivan.

    (and I own a minivan)

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      The new owners of the lodge have a fleet of these vans. With the matching dark green paint jobs and Manning Lodge graphics, they look sharp. And they’re the perfect vehicles for this application. Vastly better than the previous owner’s fleet of rusty light-duty GM rwd vans.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    As the Media, doesn’t TTAC have a duty to higher priorities than reporting on a minor regulation concerning the importation of some niche vehicles in Canada? I look forward to TTAC’s take on Boko Haram, ISIS and “Lybia”.

  • avatar
    koshchei

    Interesting read! not really.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    This is looking more like a case of back-room lobbying by the Auto Industry or more specifically the USA auto industry.

    How is increasing import rules to 25 years like the USA going to keep out RHD vehicles?

    This has to do with the amount of grey market products eating into auto company profits. I see these little vans frequently.

    I’ve never seen one in an MVC.

    I see “micro” trucks almost daily. The advertising on these is usually targeted towards hunters. You can buy one for the same or less than most side by side UTV’s.

    If RHD is more dangerous just pass legislation banning the importation of RHD units or restricting the use to industrial use i.e. delivery vans.

    The only real criteria for import should be based on the mechanical safety of these vehicles and meeting our emissions criteria.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I suspect that the report has to do with ICBC’s bottom line since they aren’t a “for profit” insurance company in the traditional sense. Insuring these things may be difficult for them if the stats are correct.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @danio3834 – ICBC and BC Hydro are “not for profit” in the traditional sense since profits get sucked into the blackhole known as government.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Right. I understand that in BC, ICBC is basically the only auto insurance company and it is government run. Since they’re the only company, they probably can’t refuse to insure anyone by law. They could probably inflate the prices a bit, but not flat out refuse to insure these things. Therefore it would make sense for them to campaign for a ban if it’s proving too costly to keep them on the books.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @danio3834 – basic insurance can only be obtained through the Insurance Corruption of BC. you can get collision, theft, replacement insurance etc. elsewhere and many do since it is cheaper and claims do not raise premiums as much.

            Government has hidden the cost of many “crown” responsibilities by offloading them to ICBC.
            Driver’s testing, licencing, motor vehicle inspections, commercial vehicle weigh scales all have been brought under the ICBC banner.

            ICBC was started by a socialistic government but the so-called Conservatives have no problems keeping it around.

            A cash cow is a cash cow whether you paint it blue or red.

    • 0 avatar

      Our “free market” economy must not be restricted in any way. Government involvement is always bad. (Unless it protects us from any and all competition, or situations wherein a small subset of the market prefers 15-25 year old vehicles to anything we’ve offered in the last 15-25 years.)

      From comments I’ve read on RHD forums up in Canada, insurance in some provinces is already cost prohibitive, if not nigh impossible to obtain. I’m fine with that. We go through the hoops to legally import vehicles we want, we need to be prepared to go through hoops to insure them – and drive them safely. (EDIT: In 2012, I drove a RHD rental VW Golf from England to outside Berlin and, aside from a couple situations where a little extra caution was necessary, found it almost advantageous to be the only RHD vehicle in a LHD country.)

      This made me a little nervous, as I’m putting hard currency down on an 89 Delica up in Toronto in less than a month. Destined for Arizona, baby.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The free market doesn’t provide you with a right to crash into me because you laid down your cash on a rolling blind spot.

        Canada wouldn’t be the first country to ban cars with the steering wheel on the opposite side of where it should be. New Zealand doesn’t allow it, and it has no car industry to protect.

        • 0 avatar
          Beerboy12

          Many other countries to.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          “Rolling blind spots?”

          Round up all the HHR Panel Vans! Won’t someone think of the children!?!?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If a panel van had the wheel on the wrong side, then your analogy would make sense. But it doesn’t, so it doesn’t.

            Try to pass with the wheel on the wrong side. It’s hazardous because of the lack of visibility; it helps greatly to have the driver sitting on the side of the car that opposes traffic.

            There’s a reason why countries that drive on the right use left-hand vehicles, and vice versa. You haven’t figured it out, obviously, but others who are wiser about these things are several decades ahead of you.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Well, I was talking about the HHR panel van specifically – go sit in one sometime, tell me how much you can see out of it. Go on, i’ll wait. Now remember, this was a perfectly legal vehicle.

            But that leads into an odd point – outside of your passing situation, what’s more dangerous – sitting on the wrong side of a vehicle with great visibility, or sitting on the right side of a bunker? All I’m trying to say is that there’s so many compromises to safety we accept, why is this one such a problem, especially given that it tends to involve a very small segment of the population who are probably well aware of the risk they’re taking on (making them ready to properly deal with it)?

            As far as the passing thing goes, well, I’ve owned a series of cars that mostly fell to just this side of dangerously underpowered. If I didn’t think I could safely make a pass, I didn’t. What’s stopping someone with a RHD vehicle doing the same thing? That seems like a forced situation to make an ultimately invalid point.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The visibility problem that comes from sitting on the wrong side also impacts lane changes (particularly toward the center of the road) and turns across traffic.

            The issue is referred to as vehicle geometry, and researchers are well aware that there is a difference.

        • 0 avatar
          LuciferV8

          I know enough from your posting history that the free market ain’t exactly your thing, but the fact of the matter is that the danger of RHD vehicles is really overstated.

          If it makes you feel any better, the decidedly non-free-market institution that is the United States Postal Service seems to have a pretty good track record with its RHD fleet.

          Are you wanting them to get off the road too?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If these cars were driven like postal vehicles, then you’d have a point. But they aren’t, so you don’t.

            The free market has nothing to do with selling products that are hazardous to other people. I frankly couldn’t care less if you manage to kill yourself, but you certainly don’t have a right to take anyone else with you.

            While having RHD vehicles on LHD highways is not the equivalent of a nuclear meltdown or the bubonic plague, it isn’t particularly smart to turn it into something that goes beyond a few hobbyists who don’t drive them much on public roads.

      • 0 avatar
        Feds

        Right Drive or Bonsai? I’m in Niagara if you want a fellow Delica owner to buy you a beer.

        EDIT: Nevermind, I just clicked on your website. We’re already scheduled for a meet up…

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          @Feds,

          Are you the fellow on Niagara St. with the Delica and (I think) a Pajero?

          • 0 avatar
            Feds

            No, that’s the other guy in Niagara with a Delica! I’m all the way out in Fenwick. Though I am trying to justify buying a pajero:

            http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/hamilton/92-mitsubishi-pajero-exceed-7-passenger-4×4-jdm-rhd/1002882776?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “No, that’s the other guy in Niagara with a Delica!”

            My god, there’s two of you!

            I’m originally from St. Catharines and still go back to see family; I see that pair parked every time I drive in.

            I miss the Peninsula.

            There’s another Delica owner in Peterborough, as well as someone else who owns a (very nice) Toyota MasterAce.

          • 0 avatar
            Feds

            Actually 3. I saw a camper conversion L300 at the Pelham arena last week. Didn’t have time to talk sadly.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    These vehicles would have more blind spots due to the seating position. Sitting on the “wrong” side of the car also makes passing more dangerous. The safety concerns are reasonable.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    manoeuvres

    I had to sloewe douewne heure.

  • avatar
    infinitime

    Being quite familiar with the insurance regimen in British Columbia, the province where the (provincial-owned) ICBC is the sole insurer, I’ve had the opportunity to review the referenced report at lengths.

    As Derek had already alluded to, it makes no distinction between the variety of JDM RHD models available in that jurisdiction, nor does it factor in age or gender demographics of owners/drivers.

    There is little doubt, that taken in conjunction with other steps by the insurer, the intent is to eventually either ban or make it prohibitively expensive to own a JDM vehicle in BC.

    Interestingly, after the initial wave of Skylines, Supras and other super cars, the current flavour-of-choice is various Kei cars, such as the Nissan Figaro, S-Cargo and Pao.

    In the case of the Nissan, they are derived from the Micra of the early 90s, which are anything but high-powered. It would be interesting to see if these vehicles were statically as accident-prone, if a study was commissioned today.

    I had my eye on several JDM GERMANY cars, which were often LHD, even for the Japanese market.

    I almost pulled the trigger on a early 90s S600, with only 18,000 documented kilometers! (That’s about 11,000 miles). Apparently, the vehicle was used by a hotel to shuttle VIPs to and from the airport. The only thing that kept me away was the cost of maintenance on an older Mercedes. But still, $8,000Cdn for a super-low mileage S600 was VERY tempting.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I always thought that if I bought a RHD drive vehicle here in the states, the one modification I would make above and beyond the ones required would be to mount a forward looking camera on the left hand wing mirror. Then connect it to a dash screen a la backup camera.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I disagree, it is absolutely government’s role to decide what side the steering wheel is on and how to enforce that. They decide the side of the road you drive on and have many excellent reasons for choosing the side of the car the steering wheel is on. What ever statistics say, it is just common sense that decides where the steering wheel should be.

    This is not a new issue and not limited to Canada.

    There is clearly a market for these little vans though and I can see why. Perhaps Mitsubishi needs to act on this market need and the government could help them get the correctly configured model to market.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    I’m familiar with front-wheel drive vehicles and rear-wheel drive too, but right-wheel drive is just wonderfully original. I’m thinking that in winter they’d tend to lose traction on the ice and snow build-up in the road gutters, it being Canada and all. Me, I’d prefer to spread out the traction a bit, maybe right-front and left rear. Or would left-front and right rear work better? Ouch, my brain hurts!

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @NeilM – I hope you were being facetious. Right hand drive and left hand drive relates to the location of the steering wheel not the wheel that gets power.

    Maybe an ER visit is in order for that brain pain.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Maybe you should read the entire article. The quote for the brainiacs who did the study call is right or left wheel drive not right of left hand drive like virtually everyone else in the world.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Scoutdude -I did read it.

        Our brains have the ability to detect patterns and fill in the blanks.

        That’s my excuse backed by biology or is that psychology or sociology?

    • 0 avatar
      NeilM

      Lou writes: “@NeilM – I hope you were being facetious. Right hand drive and left hand drive relates to the location of the steering wheel not the wheel that gets power.”

      Fear not Lou, I have it all under control. However the usual expressions are the ones you used above, “right hand drive” and “left hand drive,” not right or left wheel drive as in this article.

      I grew up driving both styles, and on either side of the road, depending. You don’t have to go any farther than the Virgin Islands (British or American) to find roads where one drives on the left but where most of the cars are left hand drive (see how that works?).

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I love these Delicas, along with the diesel Land Cruisers, Pajeros, and Nissan Safaris that we never got. Now that a lot of these are getting to be over 25 years old (’89 and older), are we going to see some crossing the border to the US? I’d pay good money for one of these zany “Space Gear Super Exceed” L300 Delicas. Perfect for the sort of traveling, camping, and canoeing I like to do.

  • avatar

    I would like to see some better research than an excessively dubious and even partially debunked Canadian study. Another LHD country with large RHD population is Russia, and the matter received a lot of scrutiny there. The results are very mixed, as expected from Russians, for whom “corruption” is national pastime. The anecdotic observations are that RHD-specific crashes are not that common, but then in general Russians have way more crashes than we do [in America], and so their figures may not apply directly.

    Also, what is the situation with RHD in the U.S.? Anyone cares to fill us in (because Derek clearly does not)?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I’ve been scoping out a USA-legal Delica for the past 30 minutes, found this:

      link:http://bonsairides.com/american-customer-information/

      As far as the Russian situation, yes anything east of the Urals is chock full of JDMs. My family rented a RHD ‘courier’ spec 1994 Corolla Wagon in Novosibirsk to drive to Altai(4spd manual, leaf spring rear suspension, vinyl interior, white paint with unpainted bumpers). Most of Russian roads are two lanes with passing zones. Passing without a passenger as a spotter is a scary business for sure. But like you said, Russians do themselves in at incredible rates RHD or not. Siberians absolutely adore the excellent 4x4s that came over, and use them to their full potential.

  • avatar
    ccode81

    Driving LHD Alfa and RHD Jaguar in Tokyo, I have no difference on difficulty. Or it is more pleasing fact to shift with my right hand on MT Alfa.
    The most critical experience recently was when driving mono space cab forward toyota with thick A pillar, with limited visibility of pedestrian I almost hit the guy when getting out from narrow road.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I would think someone is missing out on a profit. Should be easy to make conversions to LHD. Don’t know that the bargain seekers would be willing to spend what it took. IIRC these and a similar Toyota were valued in both Mongolia and Siberia. If it’s tough enough for that I’m sure it would do fine on my little farm.

    The people I know who drove Mitsubishi trucks or SUVs got a lot of miles out of them. This van appeals to me.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    I’m sure the car dealers association of British Columbia is behind this, fronted by their friends in the current provincial government.

    Say about 10 years ago, you had to pay full provincial taxes when you bought a used vehicle from a dealer, but only partial taxes on a private sale. Then the provincial government replaced the provincial taxation with the HST, which was a federal-government backed tax setup, and which applied to just about everything including private vehicle purchases.

    The public revolted and got the HST removed and the old taxing reinstated. Except that thanks to the efforts of the car dealers, the one item that retained full taxation was private car sales. It did not go back to the original situation of only partial taxation. This glaring inconsistency demonstrated the power of the car dealers.

    People have commented on the 15-year age level for JDM’s. I believe this has less to do with local regulations and more to do with cars in Japan being required to be less than 15 years old. This, and the Japanese tendency to look after things, means there are lots of perfectly good vehicles available for export all over the world. So many that JDM’s sell for about half what an equivalent left-drive would cost, and enough that many people are willing to put up with sitting on the “wrong” side.

    Whether ICBC suffers losses insuring JDM’s is up to ICBC. They can charge whatever it takes to insure these vehicles. Factor that into purchase prices and people are free to decide whether to buy JDM’s.

    JDM vehicle types include vans, from simple to executive-jet appointmented versions with 4wd, low ranges and turbo diesels; Kei cars from tiny fake VW microbus’ to 2-seat convertibles; cars from hot sports cars to plain sedans; minvans like the original Toyota minvan; utility trucks like flatbeds, cube vans, 4-door flatbeds and some with 4wd; and various off-road heavy duty suv’s with all imaginable trimmings.


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